Little Rock Arkansas Air Conditioning Repair


Common Problems with Your Air Conditioning or Cooling System

Everyone knows that this time of year can get really rough down here in the south. Harsh weather conditions can amount to a lot of problems with your AC unit, especially if it has been sitting and doing nothing over the Winter months. Most people in Little Rock are able to identify when something is wrong with their air conditioner, whether the inside system or the outside. The question is, can you identify what the problem is. We know that you aren’t a certified technician, but WE ARE! So, on this page, you are going to get a list of the most common problems that we see when we’re out in the field. If applicable, we will even provide you with some DIY fixes. Now, sometimes you’ll need help…

That’s what we’re here for!

1.) Leaking AC Unit

Problem: Homeowners sometimes experience water leaking around their indoor air conditioner near the furnace. You may uncover your AC leaking because your air is not blowing as cold or you see a visible leak. There are a number of possible causes:

  • First, there could be a stopped up drain often caused by dirt dauber nests clogging the pipe that drains the cooling systems outside or sludge can build up.
  • Second, the AC unit may have a dirty filter that needs to be replaced. This may be affecting the AC’s performance and causing the leak.
  • Finally, there could be a refrigerant leak which could lead to larger problems, such as water damage if the refrigerant leak combined with a water leak freezes up the AC (during cold months) and the melting leaks water when the weather warms up.

Solution: It is recommended that customers pour a little bleach in the drain at least once a year to clear out any buildup. If you suspect a dirty filter, it is recommended you purchase one that is specific to your unit in order to clear up the issue.

Note: If you notice a leak or the above DIY repairs don’t fix your issue, it may be time to call in a specialist. A professional HVAC technician can come in and use gauges to detect problems. As part of our standard annual maintenance plan, we check filters, gauge performance, and check for stopped up drains in order to make sure your air conditioning continues to run smoothly.

2.) AC Unit Cannot Maintain Temperature Set on Thermostat

Problem: Sometimes, you might notice you have turned on your air conditioner and it runs continuously but does not get cold. This could be a sign of a problem with the blower, the compressor, the condenser fan motor, the capacitor, or the contactor.

Solution: It is hard to say what the exact problem without seeing it in person. So many different variables and factors can go into diagnosing a problem of this magnitude. You should call an HVAC technician like those at BR McGinty. We can get your system and running within 2-3 days.

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3.) Blower is Running but Condenser Won’t Come On

Problem: If you notice your AC unit is coming on but is not blowing cold air, you’re not alone. This can be a common problem that usually involves a contactor or capacitor issue.

Solution: There are a number of things you can do to troubleshoot the problem, such as:

  • Make sure the thermostat is set to cool – Although it might seem obvious, checking to make sure something with your thermostat settings hasn’t changed would be the first step to ensuring there is not a problem with your air conditioner. Once you’ve established it’s set to cool, change the temperature five degrees lower than the indoor temperature to test that it’s working.
  • Look for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker – If you experienced a power surge, it may have tripped a circuit breaker or you may have blown a fuse which, in turn, affected your air conditioning.
  • Check your main electrical panel – On older homes, you might look for a “fuse box” whereas newer homes have a circuit panel. In a fuse box, you will need to replace your blown fuse. On a circuit breaker, however, you will want to flip the tripped circuit to the “off” position and then back to the “on” position to reactivate it.
  • If there are no issues with the main electrical panel, you should check the shutoff box near the AC. You might try to replace the fuse in order to fix your issue.

Note: If one of the above methods provides a temporary fix to the problem, it is important to call your cooling repair company in order to identify other problems. Although a unit pulling in too much electricity may be a small problem, a larger problem such as a system that short circuits or overheats may signal a bigger problem with more costly repairs or one that requires replacement all altogether.

4.) Air Conditioner Making Loud Noise

Problem: Your air conditioner is making unusual sounds it didn’t make before. A strange noise coming from your system could be a sign of a problem, so it is important to diagnose it and take the necessary steps to fix the problem.

Solution: If the noise coming from your AC sounds more like clink, clank, clunk, the problem might be the compressor. There could be a loose part in it, such as a connecting rod, piston pin, crankshaft, or internal mount. It could also indicate that the compressor needs to get replaced. This can be a costly repair and prices vary, as this is not a universal part and would have to be bought from your AC unit’s manufacturer.

Note: If the air conditioner is making a loud humming noise, the sound may be the result of the fan motor failing or an electrical problem. Your air conditioning may have loose wiring or problems with the fan contactor relay switch, such as arcing connections and arcing or burning at the fan contactor relay switch. An experienced HVAC technician can diagnose and recommend fixes to make your unit work like new again and stop making unusual sounds.

5.) Squealing AC

Problem: You’re more likely to experience a squealing AC unit in the transition from winter to spring. It is important to diagnose the problem as soon as possible to give you peace of mind and prevent any future problems. The condenser fan motor may be acting up.

Solution: You can temporarily relieve the noise by using a motor lubricant or spray lubricant on the motor shaft. However, take note this is a temporary fix and you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to prevent any performance problems.


6.) Smelly Air Conditioner

Problem: “Why does my AC unit smell?” is a common question many homeowners come to us with as the summer months roll in and they use their air conditioners more. Pinpointing the cause of the smell will help you eliminate it and take steps in the future to prevent a funky odor emitting from it.

Solution: The first step in diagnosing the problem is determining what smell you notice. Here are a few common smells you might notice and the root causes:

  • Mildew smell – If it smells like air is being filtered through a wet towel, mold and/or fungus could be growing on the outside unit. This is common and the usual fixes include removing the mold/mildew; checking to see if the compressor is draining properly and, if not, determining a fix for that; and dirty filters which need replacing.
  • Rotten egg smell – A rotten eggs scent might indicate a dead animal inside of your air conditioner. This may have occurred during the winter months as they sought shelter from the elements. It is highly advised that you do NOT try to clean it out yourself and contact an experienced HVAC repair company to help with this problem.
  • Sewage smell – A smell that indicates a major hazard, a sewage smell, may point to a sewer system backup. The methane smell leaking from a vent pipe and getting caught signals a larger problem and will need to get checked right away.
  • Feet smell – If the air coming from your AC smells like feet, it could indicate stagnant water that has not drained properly. It is important to address this issue before mold or mildew form, so if you smell feet, move your feet and contact a professional for help!
  • Gunpowder smell – A burning smell like gunpowder could indicate an electrical problem with your system. Replacing the circuit board (which has likely shorted) and/or replacing the blower fan should fix this problem. The professionals at BR McGinty can make both of these fixes and we’re just a phone call away!

7.) Power Surges Damaging AC Unit

Problem: Lightning strikes can damage your air conditioner, not because of the initial strike, but because of the power surges following a storm. It is important to properly diagnose an air conditioning or cooling system problem due to a power surge because it can lead to long-term problems and decreased functionality.

Solution: Some common issues with your cooling system you might find following a power surge include:

  • Damaged capacitor – Left unchecked after a power surge, a damaged capacitor can lead to compressor failure. If this happens, replacement may be necessary!
  • Blown fuses – You might have a tripped breaker or blown fuse after a storm which could lead to problems because of a sudden increase in voltage.
  • Burned wires – Power surges can often lead to damaged electric lines in your home. If you notice your air conditioner is not as effective as it used to be or won’t work altogether, an electrical problem may be the culprit.
  • Damaged compressor – Not always evident right after a storm occurs, the signs of a damaged compressor may appear weeks, if not months, after the damage is done. This part of the AC unit can be one of the most expensive to repair, so when lightning strikes, you should contact an experienced HVAC technician right away for help!

8.) Frozen AC Unit

Problem: You wake up one morning and find your home isn’t as cool as it was yesterday. When you check on your system, you see it’s frozen – literally – with ice on it. Determining what went wrong with your frozen air conditioner is an important first step.

One of the reasons it might have frozen up is restricted airflow from around the evaporation coil. What might cause blocked airflow? Common culprits include a dirty air filter, clogged ducts, inefficient blower motors, and debris buildup on your evaporator coil. Combine the blocked airflow with moisture already in the air and you’re sure to see evidence of ice buildup. Other causes may include:

  • Refrigerant leak or low levels of refrigerant in the line
  • Frozen internal systems if the air conditioner runs when the temperature drops below 60 degrees

Solution: If you notice your air conditioning unit has frozen off, turn it off immediately and let it thaw out. Check for blocked airflow around your evaporator coil and keep it off if the temperatures are cool.

Note: If your system still doesn’t work well after you have tried these quick fixes, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced HVAC technician who can help determine your next steps.

Don’t let your air conditioning/cooling system problems continue. Let the professionals at BR McGinty help! Our experienced Little Rock AC technicians can diagnose, repair, replace, or install your home’s cooling system. We have year-round staff ready to serve you no matter what your needs!

Contact Our Little Rock AC Repair Team!